Phases of the Moon

The Moon is a ball of rock that orbits the Earth and the our only natural satellite. The lunar phases are the different stages that we see of the Moon. In reality, we are looking at an increasing and decreasing amount of the daylight side of the Moon, since, like the Earth, the Moon has periods of daylight and darkness with half of the Moon in darkness and half in daylight. It is the Moon’s position in relation to the Sun as it orbits around the Earth that allows us to experience the phases of the Moon. When there is a new Moon, we see the dark (night) side of the Moon. As its position changes, we begin to see a crescent as gradually we see more and more of the daylight side of the Moon. The Moon, up to the time of a full Moon, is called a waxing Moon. After the full Moon, it is said to be waning, as slowly we see less and less until again we can only see the half of the Moon that is in darkness.

Find out more about The Moon.

There are some free useful resources available to download from the Science & Technology Facilities Council. You will need to scroll down to find the ones for Primary.

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